Student's DoNotPay app expands to include pushbutton small claims lawsuits


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/11/equal-justice.html


#2

The real reason AI is feared by corporations.


#3

Paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Let’s have A.I. wipe out all the lawyers.”

Essentially, Big–Money Corporate Lawyers a) read fine print professionally and b) bluff, which is what you do when reading the fine print doesn’t get the result you want. So if a computer can read fine print perfectly, there’s no need to bluff.

Be a real shame if those big-money corporate lawyers had to get real jobs.


#4

How long before such AI driven scripts and forms are banned? I suspect sooner than later. Can’t have peons thinking they can stand up to the oligarchs.


#5

I’d love one for helping me deal with my student loans ]: i had a few chances to wipe out my student loans a few years ago but we never were sure if it was a scam or not. In hindsight we figured out it wasn’t but i no longer qualify for getting it forgiven. Fml.


#6

Practicing law without a license is already illegal in most places. All that’s missing is a Supreme Court that will…

Oh. Right.


#7

Well, there you go. Although, in fairness, I think that if they stick to small claims, there is no need for a law license in general. But that may be a temporary thing if this catches on.


#8

But do you they sue the kid who wrote the script, or watson?

The kid may well write the program so he can’t shut it off, so then what? Writing a neural network is computationally expensive, but running one doesn’t have to be. This aspect of Watson’s programming is cloneable.

CAN you get an injunction against an air?
What if Watson tried to defend itself?
Watson could say that because law schools don’t allow ai students, the law requiring then to have a legal license is biased against the ai class?

If that argument were to actually fly the world would get really weird REALLY fast. It would be epic


#9

IANAL, and not familiar with the injunctions in most places, but I think that’s mainly a prohibition against representing others, not oneself.


#10

From legal Jeopardy?


#11

IANAL.

I think what @Boundegar means is that courts could decide that writing or distributing the program itself qualifies as providing legal representation without a license. I can think of two obvious counter-arguments.

The first is that websites offering prebaked legal documents and forms have existed for decades. The prosecution would have to prove that a piece of software that fills them out is meaningfully different from a site that provides them and detailed instructions on how to fill them out.

The second is that the program in effect only provides legal information, rather than actually representing the self-representing plaintiff in court or in legal negotiations. Technically just offering legal advice without a license is illegal, but for obvious reasons it’s nearly impossible to enforce, otherwise something like a tenth of social media users would be hauled in front of a judge. Legal advice and legal information are not the same, so for the developers or distributors to be successfully prosecuted, it would have to be proven that the program is giving advice and not just information.

I would think the simplest solution would be to have a licensed lawyer who understands code to review the program. Since the developer has raised over a million in seed money, I hope this is on his to-do list anyway.

It’s also against providing legal advice, beyond just information. In practice this is mainly a concern for law students and professionals in the legal industry who aren’t licensed attorneys, as they have careers and certifications to lose. No one is going to drag someone’s uncle into court for giving bogus legal advice on Facebook.


#12

Believe it or not, you can get it settled faster, paid faster (at a discount for the debtor) while totally online – never missing work or having to stare down the other guy in court.

Services like OneDayDecisions.com are becoming more popular, especially because they are cheaper and faster than court (including small claims court) and pay more than collection agencies – and over 85% of all court claims settle anyway.

Also, because there is no court award, there’s no damage to your credit rating. Most people don’t know that even if you pay the court award after losing the case, your credit score can take a hit.


#13

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